Public school teachers picket outside Amundsen High School in Chicago on the first day of a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.
Public school teachers picket outside Amundsen High School in Chicago on the first day of a strike by the Chicago Teachers Union, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.

The mayor of the midwestern city of Chicago has turned to the courts to try to resolve a teacher strike that has shut out 350,000 children from their schools.

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s administration asked a state court to force the teachers off the picket line in the third-largest city in the United States. Lawyers say the court likely will hold a hearing later in the week.

City attorneys say the strike is illegal because it endangers the health and safety of students. They also say state law forbids teachers from striking except over wages and benefits.

Chicago’s teachers and the city school board are at odds over a number of issues, including teacher evaluations and job security.

Striking teachers are due to meet Tuesday to decide whether to accept the latest offer from the city.

Public school teachers in Chicago walked off the job a week ago, forcing many parents across the city to find day care for their children or to stay home from their jobs.

Many teachers in Chicago and other big American cities oppose tying performance to student standardized test scores. They say many students come from the poor inner cities and that standardized testing may not be fair.

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